Kobe Bryant's legacy will live on at the Tokyo Olympics ... with Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum honoring the late NBA Hall of Famer by wearing #10 for Team USA.
Of course, Kobe is one of the greatest players to suit up for the Red, White and Blue ... winning gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Games.
Tatum -- who Bryant mentored in the years prior to his tragic death -- is set to wear the same digits as his idol as the United States prepares to win its 4th-straight Olympics this month ... a tribute he holds close to his heart.
"With this being the first Olympics since we lost him, it holds that much more value," Tatum told the AP. "It’s not something I take lightly."
As it turns out, #10 is Tatum's favorite number ... and it all had to do with his obsession with being like the Black Mamba.
"I remember that first team when I was hoping, wishing, that I got #10," Tatum said. "Kobe, everyone knows that was my favorite player. I was 15 years old and got to wear the number of my favorite player. It just felt like I had some level of connection with him."
Tatum says he understands the importance of the number ... adding, "It’s a tremendous honor ... and I’ll wear it proudly."